PUBLIC SERVICE IN THE NEWS | Tony Abbott and the public service, Gay communities, community development in Canada

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We are pledged to real reform > Tony Abbot reveals a very ‘Big Society’ like vision for Australia. “To the Coalition, productivity enhancement mostly comes from liberating individuals and institutions from the stifling grip of unnecessary rules or second-guessing bureaucracies. Working with the states to establish community-controlled public hospitals and independent public schools should enhance productivity because more autonomous management should be able to get more value from each taxpayer dollar. Our commitment to reduce the compliance cost of government red tape will boost productivity as enterprises spend more time doing their job and less time form-filling.
Strengthening the economy by reducing regulation, rather than by spending money, should be the Coalition’s policy speciality. Modelled on a scheme that’s worked in Victoria, the Coalition will reduce the cost of red tape by at least $1 billion every year. Departments will be required to calculate how many hours business spends on paperwork, how much that costs and to publish the red tape reductions that have been put in place. This will be verified by the Productivity Commission and be a key performance indicator for the Public Service.”

‘Free’ healthcare? That has to be the greatest oxymoron of our age > Our leaders tell us to both rely on and provide ourselves with a big society. Which is to say, we elect them and pay their wages, but we shouldn’t expect them to do anything for us.

Gove’s school plans really are an class apart > Where’s the Big Society in doing your own thing and leaving those who are struggling behind? Just allowing anyone with a personal agenda to create their fantasy school from scratch won’t help the education system as a whole. Far better to invest in and improve existing comprehensive and community schools.

Gay community calls for better mental health support > Homophobic hate crime victims have called for better support from mental health providers in helping them deal with emotional harm. A clarification of the action required from the state to address the unique needs of marginalised groups in our communities.

‘The little community that could’ > “It started out as child care and recreation as the main focuses, and today we have family support, we have a youth centre, a family centre and we do special events.” Also offered is a “family self-sufficiency” program that provides basic financial education, and a program that helps with parenting skills and other needs for families with children at-risk of going into government care.

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